International Case Study. Using biddable media to enter the mainland Chinese market.

A global, UK-based luxury fashion retailer asked us to help them enter the Chinese market.


Our Objective

Locaria was tasked with supporting a UK-based luxury client with entry into the Chinese market. There was a significant opportunity to grow the client’s brand’s awareness and presence within the market through running Chinese language biddable activity across regional search and social platforms.


Our goal was to ensure the client’s strong presence across Chinese online marketing channels, generate incremental revenue and to keep profitability at a breakeven level.


What Was Achieved?

Our activity was spread across the client’s two brands. A tier 1 brand (premium luxury) and a tier 2 brand (affordable luxury). 


For the Tier 1 brand:


We launched and optimised PPC activities on Baidu, resulting in a huge increase in awareness. 


Over the first six months:


  • There was a 500% growth in visits to the brand website from China
  • The campaigns led to a 650% growth in conversions from China
  • The activity earned £116,920 in additional revenue


The results scaled considerably over the opening six month period across all top-line KPIs and the client’s senior management team considered the campaign a successful entry into the Chinese market. 



For the Tier 2 brand: 


Due to the brand’s comparatively low brand awareness at the outset of activity, Locaria employed a cross-channel growth strategy combining paid search on Baidu with social biddable campaigns on Weibo. 


  • Brand impressions across Baidu PPC increased by 68% over the period of activity - demonstrating a growth in awareness
  • Click through rate increased by 66% during the first month of activity
  • Weekly orders doubled from our campaigns after social biddable activity on Weibo was launched

As a result, brand impressions across all PPC campaigns had an uplift of 68% and CTR increased by 66% during the first month of biddable activity. The Social channel itself consistently delivered conversions week on week, and the number of weekly orders doubled during the time in which social biddable activity ran on Weibo.


Click to enlarge.

Click to enlarge.


As a result of our cross-channel growth strategy, brand impressions across all PPC campaigns had an uplift of 68% and CTR increased by 66% during the first month of biddable activity.


How Did We Do It?


Expanding and optimising paid search (Baidu)


The first stage involved building Baidu PPC campaign structures and extending the keyword base to cover non-brand clusters such as designers and product generics. To carry out this expansion effectively, Locaria used statistical research on local platforms, combined with opportunity analysis and local market knowledge. This process enabled the prioritisation of campaign expansion, as well as identifying where the brand was missing opportunities to establish visibility. 


Baidu Brandzone activity was then introduced, a complimentary PPC product that advertisers can use to bid on their own branded search terms. Significant space is afforded on the results page for Brandzone, allowing advertisers to protect their brand terms from competitors and also maximise return. 


The consequent introduction of Shantou ad formats, which provide the ability to include a photo and product specifics such as price further boosted click through rates and visibility. 


An example of the Shantou ad format, displaying price and product information.




Locaria’s approach to social campaigns stems from the agile methodology employed by the agency across all biddable activity. Advanced settings were employed such as targeting by location, demographic, interests and competitors to provide a wide range of campaigns that could then be compared. Through mature analysis of the data generated from these campaigns and the interrogation of both historical and on-the-fly campaign performance, it was possible to make informed decisions as to how to use the budget available to achieve best performance moving forward. 


Baidu partnership


As a partner of Baidu, Locaria has advantageous conditions for testing new search products and ad formats. Baidu provides a dedicated account manager, who ensures that Locaria’s campaign implementation is a more streamlined process in terms of approval and moderation, as well as having questions answered and problems solved quickly where necessary. 




Locaria successfully supported a luxury retailer enter the mainland Chinese market through expanding their presence across biddable media on local search and social platforms.


Through the combination of the agency’s agile approach to biddable activity, local knowledge and its partnership with Baidu, Locaria drove success across all KPIs in building the brand’s presence and awareness.


Locaria was also able to successfully combine local search and social platforms to boost the brand awareness of the retailer’s secondary brand from a position of having no previous exposure in this market. 


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